August 2, 2021

Rottet Studio Restores La Colombe d’Or Mansion in Houston, Texas

A dining table beneath a ceiling lined in crown moulding in the restaurant in La Colombe d’Or mansion
In Tonight + Tomorrow, the restaurant inside the original La Colombe d’Or boutique hotel, the carved ceiling, which dates to 1923, when the site was a private mansion, was unearthed and restored. Photography by Eric Laignel.

The original La Colombe d’Or is a 1923 private residence that was converted into a boutique hotel in 1979. It encompassed 4,000 square feet across two floors, offering a bar, a restaurant, and five guest suites. Then, the restaurant was “the chi-chi place to go for late-night dining,” Lauren Rottet remarks. The tradition continues, thanks to Rottet Studio.

Guests can start an evening with cocktails in the newly expanded Bar No. 3, made glamorous with its carved-wood entry archway painted dark green, wall covering patterned with a 1920s Russian design, a vintage back bar sourced in the South of France, and luminescent back-painted glass for the bar itself. The details even extend to Baccarat whiskey glasses, etched with the hotel’s dove logo. Dining follows in what’s now called Tonight + Tomorrow, a serene gray-green setting. One long black glass-and-brass table for communal dining and cane chairs are overlooked by an elaborately carved ceiling, discovered after the paint covering it up was removed and restored.

Progression from the public to private quarters proceeds via an elaborate oak stairway. Newly refreshed, it encourages lingering, since the surrounding walls are a treasure trove of art, among which works by Helen Frankenthaler, Jorge Pardo, and Christian Rosa stand out. Senior associate Amber Lewis took charge of the guest accommodations. Most challenging she says was the Renoir suite, labeled the boy’s room in the hotel’s original plans. “That was due to its red-clay floor tile in what had been a sleeping porch.” She retained them, and even made them modern, with such chic additions as a solar system-esque pendant fixture by Andrew Neyer and a canopy bed in hammered stainless steel.

Walk Through the La Colombe d’Or Boutique Hotel

The renovated oak stairway and corridor leading to the five guest suit in La Colombe d’Or
The renovated oak stairway and corridor leading to the five guest suites feature artwork by Helen Frankenthaler, Jorge Pardo, Lucio Ranucci, and Christian Rosa under a vintage chandelier. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A canopy bed in a room in the La Colombe d’Or boutique hotel near a sitting area
The Renoir suite’s hammered and polished stainless-steel canopy bed keeps company with an Andrew Neyer pendant fixture, vintage seating, and original clay tile flooring. Photography by Eric Laignel.
a lime green bar with black bar chairs in a room with tiled green and black walls in Bar No. 3
A Tom Dixon chandelier and custom wall covering patterned with Lyubov Popova artwork outfit Bar No. 3. Photography by Eric Laignel.
In the lobby, an original carved pilaster meets Lauren Rottet’s LED Fascio sconce in antique brass
In the lobby, an original carved pilaster meets Lauren Rottet’s LED Fascio sconce in antique brass. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Project Team: Paradigm: Architect of Record.

Product Sources: GAR Products: Chairs (Restaurant). ISA Inter­national: Stools (Bar). Tom Dixon: Chandelier. Charter Furniture: Chairs. Visual Comfort: Lamps. Bernhardt Hospitality: Ottoman (Bar), Bed, Tables, Bench (Suite). F. Schumacher & Co.: Bench Fabric (Suite). Stuff: Pendant Fixture. Throughout: Sherwin-Williams Company: Paint.

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